1960s Heathkit vacuum tube voltmeter »
(Image courtesy of www.radiomuseum.org)
In the 1980s, Heathkit introduced the popular HERO robots;
it offers robot kits today »
(Image courtesy of www.robotswanted.com)
Heathkit, the legendary supplier of electronics kits that has taught generations of tinkerers and technicians the fundamentals of electronics, is back in the kit business after a 20-year break. Riding the wave of renewed interest in do-it-yourself electronics projects, the company is reentering the kit market with an ultrasonic parking assistant kit to help drivers park the family car in just the right spot in the garage. Soon to follow is an electronic swimming pool monitor kit. More kits are planned for release by the end of the year.
Heathkit describes the response to their announced return to the kit business as “overwhelming” and is soliciting suggestions for new kits from users at firstname.lastname@example.org. Based on the input that they have received so far, they are considering a return to producing amateur radio kits, which were a mainstay of their product line for decades. Among the other offerings in the company’s catalog, which was first distributed in 1926, were multimeters, oscilloscopes, stereos, and eventually even robots and computer kits. The Heathkit name eventually became synonymous with electronics enthusiasts.
Since 1974, the company has offered technical training materials for schools, corporations, and independent study, with a focus on electronics, telecommunications, robotics, and other areas.